January 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Ronnie Price (24, bottom) slips in front of Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors Escape Late Rally by Blazers

Speechless. I’m sure many fans are still speechless. Yes, it was nice that the Warriors won, but the Blazers, in this ball game, shot over 40 three pointers. That’s more than any opponent has shot on the Warriors in franchise history. Although they made a lot of them, the Warriors were still able to escape Portland with a slim 103-97 victory: a much needed win.

The Warriors started this game on a huge rally, playing defense, grabbing rebounds, and dominating the paint. They found themselves with the headstart on the Blazers and quickly jumped out to 28-19 lead at the end of the first despite some good scoring by Portland.

In the second quarter, the Blazers’ trouble grew. Although defensive intensity was equal on both sides, the Warriors were able to force Damian Lillard into 3/9 shots, but don’t worry, he made up for it. The Warriors’ defense limited the Blazers to just 16 points in the second quarter. The Dubs were up 50-35 at the half. Pretty dominant.

In the third quarter, intensity was good both ways. the Blazers were obviously desperate to shut the Warriors down, but failed to do that. The Blazers were dominating the paint and getting so many second chance points, and hitting three pointers to capitalize. With six minutes left in the third quarter, Stephen Curry had 11, Klay Thompson had 11, and David Lee had 15.  The Warriors forced Portland into 27% shooting, at this time, and only had six turnovers by the end of the third. It was 78-63.

The fourth quarter was where the Warriors’ troubles really started to grow. The Warriors are generally new to winning, and as young as they are, they lack the experience to close out games. The Blazers, of course, would make a comeback. Behind Damian Lillard’s incredible shooting, he pulled the Blazers to within seven. He made 12 consecutive shots, and was 12/14 in the second half, 8/15 on threes, and burning the Warriors. He scored a career-best 37 points.

Defense for the Warriors, however, paid dividends. Klay Thompson’s clutch steal, and Draymond Green’s saving defense on Lillard propelled the Warriors to a six point win. Phew!

The Warriors’ next game is against the Nuggets in Denver, on Sunday. They’re now 2-2 beginning this tough 12-game stretch.

Tags: Golden State Warriors Portland Trail Blazers

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